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Author Topic: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons  (Read 4564 times)

darkmoonsinger

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Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« on: June 07, 2012, 11:27:01 AM »
So a few of us were talking at open house on Tuesday (ThantiK, Cope, whoever else was in the room) about doing near-space/high-altitude balloon launches.  I've participated in 3 to date at work, using both a commercial company and working through the Florida Space Grant Consortium partnered with UCF.

If there's enough interest, this seems pretty doable and there are a ton of options that range from buying a whole package, complete with the avionics already built in, to getting a demo/class/some assistance from a UCF prof, to buying all the bits and bobs separately and going it by the seat of our collective pants.

Looking into it, I've come up with some things to look at:
 
-- Florida Space Grant Consortium - This is the group with whom we did our first lab, who brought in a UCF prof to demo for and help us.  This was invaluable; we got a quick overview of all the things we'd have to do, then we designed our own payloads and housing in addition to a UCF payload.  They also provided help with telemetry and video downlinks.  If we can get them to work with us as the lab, that would be super ideal.
-- Stratostar - This is the commercial company with whom we did our second lab.  There wasn't as much detailed information about how to design our own stuff- we launched their payload and their balloon with their help and did some payload tracking training.  They do offer smaller packages and demos, though.
-- Other companies - I have no experience with other groups/companies, but there are places that sell balloons/avionics packages that we could look into.

Thoughts/questions/comments/anyone want to play?

Simply7

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 03:01:45 PM »
Thats been on back burner for a while. I was looking into doing a ballon glider combo. I was worried about strong forida winds blowing my gear out to sea.

darkmoonsinger

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 03:03:45 PM »
Water retrievals aren't so bad, provided you've got someone with a boat and the avionics package has a GPS on it. :)

digitalman2112

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 03:24:33 PM »
Skycraft has some weather balloons - not sure if they are the right type...




darkmoonsinger

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 03:25:32 PM »
To my shame, I've never actually been to Skycraft, but I/we can totally check them out; if nothing else, we can do low-altitude practice runs with them. :D

digitalman2112

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 03:27:25 PM »
To my shame, I've never actually been to Skycraft...

YIKES - this should be a membership requirement! If you've never been, we schedule your first visit IMMEDIATELY!

darkmoonsinger

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2012, 03:29:03 PM »
*puts her debit card in one hand, credit in the other*  I'm set. *G*

digitalman2112

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 03:31:27 PM »
FamiLAB goes to Skycraft...could be a fun monthly outing...

Hybridsix

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 03:51:10 PM »
I can not believe that you've never been there. I'm going on Saturday, to pick up some relays. You're welcome to come. I"ll go in the AM most likely.


willasaywhat

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 03:51:29 PM »
Just say the word, I'll put it on the calendar. I need an excuse to go and get lost in their assortment of random gear. :)

darkmoonsinger

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2012, 04:05:03 PM »
If it's not too AM, I can definitely come out. :)

Hybridsix

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2012, 04:12:14 PM »
I don't do too AM. :) I'll update you more closer to weekend. (i.e., tomorrow)

willasaywhat

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2012, 04:14:40 PM »
Hm, I might be able to go too.

Waterbury

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2012, 05:12:45 PM »
What we really need to do is make a trip to Astrotoo. Hear they have NASA gear, too!
"The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly." ~ John F. Kennedy

Chorca

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Re: Near-Space/High-Altitude Balloons
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2012, 08:30:38 PM »
What we really need to do is make a trip to Astrotoo. Hear they have NASA gear, too!
Agreed.